Need quick advice. Raw milk from hay-fed cows ok? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 5 Old 06-14-2007, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm considering venturing out to a farm this afternoon to pick up my first ever raw milk. I'll be buying a cow share. Thing is, the cows don't get any grass. Just alfalfa hay. Is it worth it? Are there huge differences between hay and pasture fed cow milk? Is it still safe? TIA!
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#2 of 5 Old 06-14-2007, 02:30 PM
 
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Alfalfa makes for wonderfully sweet milk.

Even though the cow isnt grass fed the milk would still be better for you than store milk.

We drank milk for years from somebody whos cow was alfalfa fed, it was wonderful milk and cream

I am jealous of you We moved and no longer have access to real milk.
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#3 of 5 Old 06-14-2007, 03:35 PM
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Hay is basically just dried pasture plants, so as long as the cows don't get more than a tiny amount of grain, it should be the next best thing to milk from cows eating fresh pasture. Part of the problem with cows fed large amounts of grain, soy, cottonseed meal, and all the other bizarre 'concentrate' feeds they give to cows, is that they are destructive to the normal functioning of the cows' digestive system. Too much grain causes their digestive tract to get too acidic and changes the microbial population (proper microbes are the lynchpin of bovine digestion), which favors the growth of organisms that can be dangerous to people, such as acid-resistant e.coli (i.e. 0157:H7). Hay made from grasses or alfalfa is digested the same way as fresh pasture, basically. Do they grow the alfalfa themselves? If not, do they know how it's grown? In some areas, alfalfa can be a heavily sprayed crop, depending on the pests, soil fertility, etc., so you might want to ask about that. I presume you've checked out the cleanliness of the milking procedures.

There is no secret ingredient.
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#4 of 5 Old 06-14-2007, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks mamas. I'm on my way to pick it up right after I post this. I'll let you know how it tastes, and I'll be sure to ask about the alfalfa, i.e. if it's been sprayed. I just googled it and realized it does look like it's generally sprayed. That sucks. I also ran across something that said bio-control efforts were as successful as spraying, so maybe there is a chance the crop was unsprayed. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
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#5 of 5 Old 06-14-2007, 09:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I got milk! I brought home a gallon and it's yummy. It is kinda sweet and very creamy and fresh tasting. Milked this morning. I guess it's from a Dexter cow and our other cow is a Jersey and about to give birth so we'll be getting really sweet Jersey milk soon. I'm so glad I found this farm. It's the only one in our large valley that offers a raw milk share. I had to drive an hour each way but it was well worth it!
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